"Inflexible security"

About: Russells Hall Hospital

Anything else?

I tried to visit the maternity department on two recent days in February 2013 and the security system is completely inflexible, this caused me to miss my own daughter’s baby being born as one of her birthing partners.

The security member went through some questions and as I didn't meet the criteria they wouldn't allow me through.

I then had to wait for 3 hours for the visiting times to be allowed through.

Whilst I was there speaking to the security staff member a man came back as just after a cigarette and then the security member wouldn't allow him back in even though they had allowed him out.

Completely rigid and unhelpful as no one else that you can speak to without going through this security person.

There is already a security card system in place and if the security team don't get the cards back then they won't allow anyone else in as they think that there is still people with the patient.

Security should be checking via phone as to how many people are with the patient as the security card can be taken with the visitor and not handed back to anyone.

These cards need to be monitored.

Security needs to be more flexible.

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Responses

Response from Russells Hall Hospital

Thank you for your feedback. We must apologise if you missed the birth of your daughter’s baby. However, the safety and security of our new born babies and mums- to-be is paramount. The Maternity Unit has security personnel who monitor access and egress of visitors 24 hours a day.

Security is as tight as it can be without having a negative impact on visitors to the unit. If a security guard is not satisfied with the answers he receives when questioning a visitor, he would be expected to phone through to the lead midwife for clarification.

You are correct in saying we operate a card system to ensure we know how many people are visiting at any one time and where they are located. This is especially important in the event of a fire emergency. We believe the visitor card system works well as it enables staff from to offer women in labour uninterrupted care.

Sometimes a card is not returned to security and in such cases the security guard would check discrepancies with the midwife in charge.

As you can imagine, we have a large volume of visitors to the unit and we receive very few complaints that security is too rigid. From the feedback we receive, the majority of women, partners and their visitors appear to be grateful for the level of security we offer at Russells Hall Hospital.

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